“Stepping Up To Take Care of Themselves”: Venus Williams Lauds Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles

Published 12/14/2021, 10:47 AM EST
HONG KONG, HONG KONG: Naomi Osaka of Japan (R) shakes hands with Venus Williams (L) after winning their second round women’s singles match during the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2017 at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)


In recent years, Naomi Osaka has been one of the most prominent players on the WTA Tour. The manner in which she has dominated scenes in tennis has been absolutely stunning. The youngster has been a role model for young kids all around the world. 

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This year, Naomi Osaka took the brave decision of withdrawing from the French Open due to mental health issues. Her move put the topic of mental health of athletes firmly in the spotlight of tennis discussions. During the Olympics, gymnastics star, Simone Biles took a similar courageous decision and withdrew from events where she was a favorite for the gold medal. 

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Speaking about the importance of athletes taking charge of that discussion, Venus Williams, the 7-time Grand Slam champion and one of the greatest of all time stated, “What’s interesting is that—athletes have so much credibility, right? Because in sports you compete and play hard to win, and there are no do-overs, no retakes. There’s something very honest and believable about athletes. So, the fact that athletes have taken the center stage regarding mental health issues now is very encouraging.”

Venus Williams lauds Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles 

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Williams sided with Osaka and was all praise for her boldness to come out in the open and speak on such a sensitive topic. She even praised Simone Biles for her stance on this issue. Both the young American athletes have taken the charge in having this all important discussion. 

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2021 Venus Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The 41-year-old added, “It gives people the opportunity to talk about things they haven’t talked about with anyone before—to open that conversation. I really love that. I love that these young ladies (Osaka and Biles) are stepping up to take care of themselves, doing what it takes for their own long-term health.”

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At the moment, the tennis season is over. We wish both Venus and Naomi the very best for the upcoming 2022 season. All eyes will be on them when they step on the tennis courts once again at the Grand Slam titles.

Watch this story: The Journey of Roger Federer to the Elite Billionaire’s Club

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Rohan Kollare

1515 articles

Rohan Kollare is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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